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senate vote 2021-02-02#6

Edited by mackay staff

on 2021-02-05 15:05:42


  • Matters of Urgency Climate Change
  • Matters of Urgency - Climate Change - Set 2030 targets


  • <p class="speaker">Claire Chandler</p>
  • <p>I inform the Senate that at 8.30 am today 21 proposals were received in accordance with standing order 75. The question of which proposal would be submitted to the Senate was delivered by lot. As a result, I inform the Senate that the following letter has been received from Senator Rice:</p>
  • <p class="italic">Pursuant to standing order 75, I give notice that today I propose to move "That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:</p>
  • The majority voted against a [motion]( introduced by Queensland Senator [Larissa Waters]( (Greens), which means it failed.
  • ### Motion text
  • > *That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:*
  • >
  • > *The urgent need for the Morrison Government to announce science-based 2030 targets given that it has completely failed Australians on climate change, using up over 40% of Australia's carbon budget since 2013.*
  • <p class="italic">The urgent need for the Morrison Government to announce science-based 2030 targets given that it has completely failed Australians on climate change, using up over 40% of Australia's carbon budget since 2013."</p>
  • <p>Is the proposal supported?</p>
  • <p class="italic"> <i>More than the number of senators required by the standing orders having risen in their places&#8212;</i></p>
  • <p>I understand that informal arrangements have been made to allocate specific times to each of the speakers in today's debate. With the concurrence of the Senate, I shall ask the clerks to set the clock accordingly.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Larissa Waters</p>
  • <p>At the request of Senator Rice, I move:</p>
  • <p class="italic">That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:</p>
  • <p class="italic">The urgent need for the Morrison Government to announce science-based 2030 targets given that it has completely failed Australians on climate change, using up over 40% of Australia's carbon budget since 2013.</p>
  • <p>The Prime Minister is now vaguely talking about 2050, and Labor are talking about 2050. The science says that 2050 is too late. A report was released last week that says that actually what we do in the next 10 years is what counts. The critical decade is now. 2050 targets are very attractive for do-nothing governments, do-nothing oppositions and do-nothing businesses that don't want anything to be done in the critical decade. Having 2050 targets with no policies is just code for 'someone else's problem'. We need science based targets to be guiding our climate policies in this nation. Delay is the new denial.</p>
  • <p>The Climate Targets Panel report that I referred to, which was released last week, says that, to have a chance of staying within two degrees of warming, the government's 2030 targets need to be doubled. We need to halve the pollution that we had aspired to have by 2030 if we are to have a chance at keeping within two degrees. That report also clarifies that if we want to have a chance of keeping within 1&#189; degrees&#8212;which might actually save what's left of global coral reefs, lessen the burden on our farmers and our agricultural sectors and lessen the severity of the natural disasters that we've all been facing, which is what we should be aspiring to as a nation&#8212;in fact we need to reduce our pollution by 75 per cent by 2030. So this report's saying the government needs to double its targets to even have a chance of two degrees, but we need far stronger action on the climate crisis if we want to have a chance of saving the planet as we know it.</p>
  • <p>So the discussion about 2050 is over. The question is: what's the government going to do about its 2030 targets, and when on earth are we going to see a 2030 target from this flaccid opposition? They continue to bat away the question. It is not good enough. We need science based targets, and we need all parties to be guided by them. It should not be a question of politics; it should simply be us taking the advice from the experts. We have a small window.</p>
  • <p>President Biden's climate summit is coming up in April. We might not even get invited. We didn't get much of a guernsey last time, did we? This Prime Minister has absolutely no credibility on the global stage on climate, so we might not even be invited to President Biden's April climate summit. But, if we are, what's the Prime Minister going to do? Is he actually going to comply with what the science says? Is he going to increase that 2030 target? It is untenable for the government to continue to insist that these weak, pathetic targets, which we're not even on track to meet, are adequate, and it's untenable for the opposition to continue to ignore the need for 2030 targets and promise to tell us all at some point&#8212;who knows when?</p>
  • <p>That independent Climate Targets Panel did that work last week; the Climate Change Authority should be doing that work. They've updated those targets based on our global carbon budget. Net zero by 2050 isn't even what the science says anymore, so that's a bit of a problem for the Prime Minister and the Labor Party. The latest data says that in fact we need to have net zero by 2045, not 2050. In fact, for 1&#189; degrees, we need to be net zero by 2035.</p>
  • <p>The other very troubling finding from that report was that since this mob took government in 2013 we've used 40 per cent of our two-degree budget and 55 per cent of our 1&#189;-degree budget. We cannot muck around any longer. We may or may not get an invite to that Biden climate summit, but the world is watching what we do. The Prime Minister sees risks; the Greens see opportunities, and we see consequences for continuing to ignore this problem.</p>
  • <p>The Liberals and Nationals will send Australian farmers bankrupt as the new climate dries land out along the coast and floods it in unbearable heat in the north. The only way we can avoid that future is with strong, science-based 2030 targets. We invite the Labor Party to say something about that and the government to double their ambition in that regard.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Hollie Hughes</p>
  • <p>Well, here we go again: the Greens fixated on lots of talk and no action when it comes to the provision of clean energy and the lowering of emissions. The topic of alternative energy through new technology is one that's close to my heart, having dedicated much of my time to the wonderful Hunter region, where traditional mining takes place alongside an area booming with developing new energy sources. On one recent visit I was able to break ground at the site of a new lithium-ion battery factory, where the technology team at Energy Renaissance is supported by the CSIRO. The Commonwealth government's first low-emissions technology statement has identified energy storage as a priority technology for Australia to support emission reductions and jobs growth. Affordable and reliable batteries are already becoming a critical element of renewable electricity supply and clean transport and for use in a range of defence applications.</p>
  • <p>Australia is a world leader in the implementation of batteries on the grid, but we're using foreign companies to supply our batteries, making this a future energy security issue. Australian supply reduces the risks in shipping, transportation and delivery and provides the Australian government and its key agencies, such as Defence, with a domestic option. China accounts for 62 per cent of the global lithium-ion battery industry. Quite simply, if we want more electric cars and buses, and if we want to reduce our emission levels, we're going to need more batteries. Australia is ideally placed to be at the forefront of the development and manufacture of these in-demand products. The early establishment of a domestic battery-manufacturing industry will value-add to critical minerals processed in Australia. According to the Future Batteries Industry CRC, there's currently no commercial production of battery-grade materials and chemicals in Australia. However, the wonderful new Energy Renaissance site at Tomago will be the first in Australia, with plans to export many of its batteries to Asian markets.</p>
  • <p>On the same day as I broke ground at the Energy Renaissance site, I visited the Bloomfield Coal Mine at East Maitland, where 600 Australian workers are employed in producing some of the highest-quality coal in the world. We won't turn our backs on any industry that supports the energy of Australians. Kudos to the Australian Hunter-based company Quarrymining, which is converting its big mining trucks to electric power. There are also other local Hunter Valley and Newcastle businesses who are getting on with the innovation and commercialisation that will drive our economic growth and provide renewable sources of power. These are the sorts of businesses that the Morrison government is backing. The Hunter region is a hotbed of energy innovation. MGA Thermal is a local company using renewable power to heat aluminium bricks during the day and generate steam from them overnight. The Morrison government has promised to build a gas plant powered specifically to ensure that Hunter businesses and consumers don't suffer the devastating consequences of energy shortages or blackouts. We remain committed to any technology that promises energy reliability and affordable comfort for all Australians.</p>
  • <p>I am supporting the Hunter in its bid to win the tender to be the first hydrogen hub funded by the Commonwealth. I'm working with local industries, renewables providers and other key institutions to put forward a case to make the Hunter a home for hydrogen development. With hydrogen we can capitalise on the growing international market for green steel and green aluminium, using the abundance of intermittent renewable energy to generate hydrogen to power these industries. There is no better place than the new hotbed of innovation for such a venture. The fact that it will create more jobs and bring investment to the region is another bonus for Australia.</p>
  • <p>Our government is investing $570 million in hydrogen. Hydrogen can be stored and transported and it can be 100 per cent cleaner. It's a wonderful source of energy for manufacturing and has the potential to further lower our energy emissions. We will continue to support this sector which also has the potential to see Australia export hydrogen to other countries. New energy technologies will expand production and increase productivity. We're not resting on our laurels when it comes to alternative energy sources and we will not rest until Australians and my great friends in the Hunter Valley have guaranteed cheap and secure sources of energy. It will be done with consideration for Australian businesses and consumers.</p>
  • <p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised that we won't tax our way to zero emissions. We won't put that burden on any Australian, especially our regional Australians. Getting to net zero is all about technology. Our emissions fell by three per cent in the year to June 2020, the lowest level since 1998. That's 17 per cent below 2005 levels. That's pretty impressive when you consider it. Our energy minister, Angus Taylor, has committed to investing $1.9 billion for the development of clean energy. When it comes to lowering emissions, we have an enviable record that's proving successful and is focused on technology, not taxes.</p>
  • <p>We have a clear plan. We're on track to meet our 2030 target. Labor don't even have a 2030 target. Our 2030 target is more ambitious than that of Norway, Canada, Germany, France and New Zealand. We want to get to zero emissions as soon as possible. We're focused on the how and the breakthroughs in technology that will be needed to reach net zero emissions. Over the past two years, our position against our 2030 target has improved by 639 million tonnes. That's the equivalent of taking all of Australia's 14.7 million cars off the road for&#8212;wait for it&#8212;15 years.</p>
  • <p>In 2020, a record seven gigawatts of new renewable capacity was installed in Australia. That's more renewables in one year under the Morrison government than under the whole previous Labor government term. Australia now has the highest amount of solar PV capacity installed per person in the world. We have the most wind and solar per person of any country outside of Europe. We're adopting renewables in Australia at 10 times the global average and four times higher than China and Japan, the US and Europe. We're doing it without sacrificing jobs and industries in regional Australia for no emissions benefit. Instead, the Morrison government is focused on the how and on the breakthroughs in technology that will be needed to make net zero emissions possible.</p>
  • <p>Investing in and supporting renewable technologies will support 130,000 new jobs by 2030 and maintain Australia's position as a world-leading exporter of food, fibre, minerals and energy. In contrast, Labor won't talk about how they would lower emissions, because they have no plan to achieve net zero&#8212;no plan and not a single policy. They continue to be divided and confused on energy matters which impact on everyday Australians. Our government is committed to ensuring a reliable energy supply. As our Prime Minister announced yesterday, agreements are in place to accelerate major transmission projects in New South Wales and Tasmania, with Victoria and South Australia to follow this year. We're building Snowy Hydro 2. We're rolling out a $200 million program to build new diesel storage facilities. Minister Karen Andrews is investing $1.5 billion in a manufacturing strategy prioritising critical minerals processing, recycling and clean energy.</p>
  • <p>This is a government committed to technology-driven sources of energy. We need practical and appropriate measures to reduce emissions in a way that supports economic growth. Labor and their Green partners have never committed so much money or support to groundbreaking technology that will enhance our energy development and secure our energy supply. But we are getting on with the job of lowering emissions and creating viable, new renewable energy industries that will support every Australian.</p>
  • <p class='motion-notice motion-notice-truncated'>Long debate text truncated.</p>